Empire State Realty Trust | 250 West 57th Street
Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) sought to renovate the 537,839-square-foot office building at 250 West 57th Street in New York.
Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman, and CEO of ESRT wanted to invent a new type of lobby, providing an elegant and sophisticated welcome to the building. A standard white or black lobby would not do. ESRT was looking for something truly different.
The desire for something unique led to the design of a 75.7-foot-long by 7.8-foot-wide ceiling-mounted fine-pitch LED screen, manufactured by the VER LED Install team. The screen displays 6.7 million pixels, creating a rich sandbox media environment for creative expression and communication.
The world-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman, fresh from completing the Hans Zimmer tour and lighting displays for the Empire State Building, used algorithms and coding to operate the screens. Visual artist Lindsay Scoggins, whose video art has been the buzz of YouTube and has been displayed in the Guggenheim Museum, was also involved in designing.
“Other buildings have video installations, and they repeat themselves constantly,” Brickman said. “What I wanted to do was have [tenants] feel like this greets them every day, and they have the choice of interacting with it, in terms of finding out what it is about. That was the motivation for creating it this way, rather than just putting up pictures from the internet or flowers. We are trying to up the game.”
The screens rotate through visual themes based on time of day. Mornings are welcomed with two hours of sunrise visuals, with information on the weather. The next is news, which includes layered text on top of abstract backgrounds. Another display called “morphing the present” displays images of celebrities and public figures- blended and blurred with an artistic flare. Using data from social media, “sea of cities” plays out abstract snips of live posts, stitched together, moving up and down, like waves in an ocean. The day ends with animations of black holes, planets, stars, and space.
“The significance of this ceiling is not to draw people inside—it’s specially for our tenants,” Malkin said. “[And] specially for their visitors. It’s not a museum. But it’s of museum quality.”
VER LED Install manufactured and installed LED used for 250 West 57th Street.
Learn more about ESRT.